How to Create a Selection From Text in Photoshop

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To create a selection from text in any Photoshop CC project, use the Horizontal Type Mask Tool, which gives you the ability to highlight the text without having to create a new text layer. Just like the Horizontal Type Tool, you can adjust the font style and size as needed while creating your text and then apply any effects you need to the selected outline.

Apply affects to text selections without creating a new text layer.
(Screenshot courtesy of Adobe.)
Step 1

Click and hold the Horizontal Type Tool in the Toolbox and click the Horizontal Type Mask Tool.

Use the Horizontal Type Mask Tool.
Screenshot courtesy of Adobe.
Step 2

Drag the Horizontal Type Mask Tool across the canvas and enter the text you want. Note that the canvas turns pink while using this tool.

The canvas turns pink when you use the Horizontal Type Mask Tool.
Screenshot courtesy of Adobe.
Step 3

Select the text and change the font style and size using the Options bar. Note that the text color is irrelevant for the Horizontal Type Mask Tool.

Change the font and font size.
Screenshot courtesy of Adobe.
Step 4

Click the Move Tool in the Toolbox. The pink color disappears, leaving only the text selection. Apply any effects to the selection you wish. For example, to add an outline around the selection, select Stroke from the Edit menu.

Apply a stroke or other effect to the text selection.
Screenshot courtesy of Adobe.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you already have a text layer in a Photoshop project that you want to select, just Ctrl-click the icon for the Text layer in the Layers panel. When you click the "Eye" icon in the text layer to hide it, you'll see the text selection remains. Alternatively, click the Select menu and then click Load Selection.

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